The hot water heater in your home is one of the most used appliance you own. Most homeowners and family members take for granted the simple fact that when they want or need hot water, lo and behold its there. Like all the other appliances in your home, the water heater needs to be properly and routinely maintained. Performing routine maintenance will not only add to its efficiency, but will prolong its life expectancy and surely save you money. The folks here at Steve Mull Plumbing have put together these simple, useful tips on how to maintain your hot water heater.
Routine Visual Inspection
Like all your other appliances, taking a moment from time to time to give a close look at your water heater can certainly keep your water hot while saving you money at the same time. Be on the look out for water on the floor, possible leaks in the tank, or even rusting on the bottom of the tank.
Inspecting the Temperature and Pressure Valve (T&P Valve)
The professionals here at Steve Mull Plumbing highly recommend a yearly inspection of your T&P valve. The T&P valve is located at the top of the water heater or on its side and is designed with a discharge tube that flows toward the base of the tank. This is an important safety feature of your water heater and should be properly functioning at all times. To perform an adequate inspection of the T&P valve you should place a container under the discharge tube. Open the valve by lifting the lever. Hot water should begin passing through the discharge tube into the container below at this time. Hold the lever for a few seconds and then release it to shut the water off. Take note of whether or not the water shut off properly. Did the valve leak at all and if so, is it still leaking? If any of these scenarios were present that is a good indication that it is time to replace your T&P valve.
Checking the Water Temperature
The ideal temperature of your water heater is 120 degrees. Sometimes people set the temperature higher. Keep in mind that you can save energy and money and keep your heater from working too hard by simply keeping the temperature lowered.
Most homeowners insulate their hot and cold water pipes. It would be a good idea to insulate your water heater tank as well. Take precautions, however, not to cover any of the gauges or caps. You can purchase insulation blankets for your pipes and tank at most hardware stores and indeed they are very inexpensive. By covering your heater and pipes with a blanket you keep your heater from working harder, increase its energy efficiency and contribute to a longer life expectancy as well.
Perform a Small Flush of the Heater
Using the same container you used for testing your T&P valve, place it under your drain valve located near the bottom of your water heater. Loosen the drain valve and release a couple of gallons of water into the container, then quickly close the valve to stop the water from flowing. Look at the water and see if it is cloudy. If it is cloudy, then it will be necessary to schedule a complete flush of your hot water heater. You can reach out to our highly skilled and certified plumbers to perform this task for you. As a matter of fact, if you are not comfortable performing any of the tasks above, then we’ve got you covered. Simply give a shout out to our team and we’ll be there in a flash to take care of your every need.
We hope you found these maintenance tips useful. Remember, whether a water heater issue or any other plumbing problems, the professionals at Steve Mull Plumbing right here in Lebanon are the team for you. Don’t delay. Contact us with all your plumbing needs. We look forward to serving you and hope you had a joyous holiday season.